Bricklaying is considered as one of the foremost construction skills that had traversed India over 5,000 years ago and remains relevant until this day. The colossus-like dominance of this construction technique has made it the pride of many homeowners that are looking for how to lay brick wall in their homes. The employment of the services of a bricklayer could be the perfect step, but if you’re looking at it from a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) perspective, then you need to be cautious while at it.
The process of laying a brick wall can be deceptively simple in the sense that you might be tempted to do things as they please you without considering the adverse effects on the construction. Moreover, you need to master the brick and mortar basics, just as you need to use the right techniques and be consistent with the practice to be successful at it. So, if you’re wondering about where to begin and the things to do, the guide below would lead you by the hand to understand how to lay a brick wall.
Gather Your Materials
Unless you’re a superman of sorts, you would need some materials for the project. Some of the materials necessary for laying a brick wall include but not limited to:
- Dry bristle brush
- Strings and clamps (nails can also suffice)
- Spirit level
Steps To Lay a Brick Wall
Now that you’ve gathered the necessary materials, you can then proceed to use the steps below to learn how to lay a brick wall like a professional.
Calculate the Number of Bricks Needed for the Job
Part of the reasons for the calculation of bricks is to reduce wastage and to be sure, of the investments you’re making. Also, you have the chance to decide on the right measurement of the bricks.
Worthy of note is that bricks come in different forms, such as various sizes and shapes. That said, the average sizing of blocks by the UK standard is 215mm long by 102.5mm deep by 65mm high. Besides, allocations should be made for the mortar, which is about 10mm thick.
You must understand that bricks are categorized into three types. The first is the Sever Weathering (SW) bricks that are used for garden walls and foundations because of their capacity to withstand direct contact with moisture and the ground. The second is the Medium Weathering (MW) bricks that are perfect for exterior work because they withstand freezing temperatures. The last but not the least is the No Weathering (NW) blocks exclusively used for interior jobs.
Haven figured out the sizes of the bricks; the next thing is to measure the area the bricks would be laid. Ideally, about 120 bricks (by the above measurements) should fit into one brick thick solid wall for each square meter. In a similar pattern, 60 bricks per square meter would fit into a half brick wall. You may also want to add about 10% of bricks you need – that would serve as wastage.
Purchase the Right Amount of Brick
You can now contact your brick supplier to deliver the same to you. Note that the bricks you purchase should be adjusted in a way that they align with the mortar.
Prepare the Foundation
The foundation is unarguable, one of the most important processes involved in the laying of a brick wall. In this instance, the trench should be dug out in a rectangular format, and in consonance with the length and width of the proposed brick wall, you intend laying. It can be anywhere between half a meter deep for a brick wall of up to one meter in height.
Mark the Guideposts
The role of the gauging rods or guideposts is to ensure the walls are leveled. Marking the guideposts demands getting a piece of timber and cutting it to the desired or proposed height of the brick wall. The next step is to mark 65mm lines that help in determining the position of each row, which is also called the “course.” The last step in this strategy is to set up a string line to run from one gauging rod to the other.
Mix the Mortar
Ensure you follow the manufacturers’ instructions when mixing the mortar on an old damp board. The mixture should be able to hold its shape. Also, mix only the mortar you need at a particular time and ensure it doesn’t sit for more than two hours.
Lay the First Bricks
The first brick can now be laid to test the grounds. It should be done after the foundation is dry. The mortar would be placed on the foundation with a “v” shape to make the spreading of the mortar and the laying of the course easier.
The first brick can then be placed on the mortar with great care to ensure the leveling. Afterward, proceed to lay the subsequent bricks using the same process, but ensure you remove any excess mortar.
Cut a Brick in Half
You would need half a brick for the next row. So, cut the brick in half using the pointed edge of the hammer. You can then use it to create staggered blocks that provide additional support to the wall.
Repeat the Processes
You can continue with the previous steps to continue laying more bricks until you get the desired level of the wall. While at it, ensure the string line is in the right place with the bricks meeting the strings too. Walk your way up to the desired height of the wall, and remember to move the lines as you proceed.
Add Finishing Touches
Complete the job by adding final changes to the outlook of the brick wall. As a rule of thumb, go over the wall with a soft brush to remove the excess mortar that might be lurking around. You may also want to use a polythene sheet or tarp to cover the brick wall against the elements, such as frost or rain.
Lay Your Brick Wall
You just built yourself a sturdy brick wall. You can see that it isn’t as challenging as you might have been made to believe.
Do you have friends that want to lay brick walls too? Share this article with them and let us know the outcome of your bricklaying efforts also!